Since 2009, many conservatives have believed that Barack Obama is an anti-American socialist who was born in Kenya and, therefore, is an illegitimate president. Many in Congress refuse to recognize him as president, let alone negotiate with him. Even after he was re-elected in overwhelming fashion, they refuse to accept the results believing that he bought votes by offering “stuff” to the 47 percent they claim do not pay taxes.
On the other hand, Democrats in Congress believe that Tea Party conservatives were elected based on an avalance of misinformation and spending from billionaire ideologues. They also believe that many were the beneficiaries of conservative gerrymandering.
So where does this leave us?
It leaves us with a government that simply doesn’t function. If it were not for presidential orders, the government would be at a complete standstill. Congress and the president cannot agree on a budget, on foreign policy, on military action, on job creation…they cannot even agree on laws that have already been passed. The House continues to vote to repeal “Obamacare” without hope of actually doing so. Why? Merely because conservatives in Congress want everyone to know how much they dislike President Obama.
Conservatives in both the House and the Senate refuse to negotiate a budget deal. They merely want to dictate. In 2011, that led to an impasse over the debt ceiling that damaged the credit rating of government bonds, collapsed the stock market and brought economic recovery to a standstill. In 2012, it led to sequestration which created further problems.
Now conservatives in the House are threatening to pass a budget that will defund “Obamacare” and, unless they get their way, they not only threaten to refuse to raise the debt ceiling. They plan to shut down the government entirely.
In an attempt to reach some form of compromise, President Obama reached his hand across the aisle. In return, conservatives merely extended their collective middle finger.
Given the circumstances. it’s not at all clear which side will win. But I do know that we will all lose.